The year 2015 has given us some new names in the world of football. Players have made their names known with their impressive performances and have announced themselves as future stars. Here is a list of top eleven breakout players of 2015.
11. Alexandre Lacazette (Olympique Lyonnais)
Although Lyon may be struggling to hit the right form, their spearhead in attack isn’t. Lacazette was last year’s top goalscorer in Ligue 1, a league where the likes of Zlatan and Cavani play! He was sought after by many big clubs, but he decided to stay in Lyon and made Benzema stay on his toes when it comes to the striker’s position in French national team.
10. Douglas Costa (Bayern Munich)
When Douglas Costa arrived in Bavaria, he had some big shoes to fill – he was meant to replace Franck Ribery. Although his talent was appreciated during his time at Shakhtar, the change of the stature left many skeptical whether he can deliver. In the first half of this season, Costa amazed everyone with his performances which made him keep a starting eleven spot in a club with perhaps the biggest competition for places on the pitch.
9. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Borussia Dortmund)
With the new manager and a changed style of attacking, Aubameyang has become Bundesliga’s top marksman with 18 goals from 17 matches, leaving Lewandowski and Mueller behind. Aubameyang, although not an entirely new face to football fans, found his place in this list because he improved the quality of his game and the African Footballer of the Year 2015 Award winner has shown what a magnificent player he is.
8. Anthony Martial (Man United)
Martial came to Man United with a ‘most expensive teenager ever’ tag on his shoulders and many doubted United’s decision to spend that much money on him before he even stepped on the pitch. Martial, however, has proven he has what it takes to make it on a bigger stage and has been perhaps the only bright light in an otherwise monotonous Man United side.
7. Saul Niguez (Atletico Madrid)
With key players either gone or aging, Diego Simeone had to find a way to rejuvenate his Atletico Madrid squad before he could try to make another upset by winning La Liga. He opted to turn to the youth and so far it worked flawlessly for him. A player who epitomizes this is Saul, a real workhorse in the midfield who is steadily becoming an instrumental part of how the Atleti play.
6. N’Golo Kante (Leicester City)
With everyone raving about Mahrez and Vardy, it was only until recently that people started giving credit to Kante. His football may not be as sensational as Mahrez’s or Vardy’s, but his relentlessness and defensive awareness were indispensable to Leicester’s incredible form this season.
5. Christian Fuchs (Leicester City)
Another Leicester player who doesn’t get enough spotlight is the Austrian left-back Fuchs. Whilst he and Albrighton create a lot of damage on the left flank to the opposition, Fuchs also has an exceptional role to play in Leicester’s defense. With Leicester’s attacking focusing on counter-attacks, the transition from defense into attack has to happen rapidly and Fuchs has been behind many of the successful counter-attacks.
4. Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur)
When Alli moved from MK Dons to Tottenham, the majority saw that transfer as one for the future. However, Alli made the jump from League One to the Premier League look as if it’s the easiest thing to do. He made himself a part of Tottenham’s starting eleven and continues to improve after every game.
3. Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid)
Griezmann has proven to be a complete revelation for Los Colchoneros. He is Atletico’s best player by far and the main reason they are topping the La Liga table, leaving Real Madrid and Barcelona behind. The attacking midfielder has scored 14 goals this season and earned the right to be considered a world-class player.
2. Jamie Vardy (Leiceseter City)
Jamie Vardy’s career story is perhaps one of the most inspirational stories in the world of football. From non-league football where he was on an amateur contract to leading his team to the top of the Premier League is probably the biggest leap one can achieve. Vardy has scored 15 goals in 20 appearances this season, and has made a Premier League record for most consecutive games in which he scored – he broke the record of a certain Ruud van Nistelrooy.
1. Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City)
Mahrez, alongside Vardy, has been a true inspiration this season for Leicester City. Many pundits were giving Leicester little chance to avoid relegation, but, thanks to the magic feet of the 24-year-old, they find themselves in the very top of the Premier League! Mahrez has scored 13 goals and made 7 assists in 19 league appearances this season.